Video from The Beauty of
Blade Runner 2049 returns to the dystopian metropolis of Ridley Scott’s classic three decades later. Ryan Gosling is K. Like Harrison Ford’s Deckard before him, K is a Blade Runner, tasked with locating/“retiring” rogue replicants – artificial, bio-engineered people. He makes a discovery which could have huge implications for himself and the already difficult relationship between humans and replicants. In his quest to uncover the truth, K must track down Deckard for information.
Villeneuve’s film contemplates deep questions of identity. We are asked to contemplate creating a world in which you can never be sure who is or isn’t real – or even what it truly means to be “real”.
Cinematographer Roger Deakins amplifies this existential uncertainty by reducing characters and locations to forms, shapes and colors. Many scenes are shrouded in smog, mist, rain or snow, rendering humans and replicants into silhouettes.
The most brilliant use of color is the sequence in which K first tracks Deckard down, who is hiding out in Las Vegas, a city that’s been abandoned since the detonation of a dirty bomb. Inspired by photos of the Australian dust storm of 2009, Deakins bathed this sequence in soft, orangey-red – almost Martian – light. This warmth, contrasted with the cold artificial light of LA, underlines the personal nature of K’s journey and the theme of birth which is implicated throughout the film.
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